Dedicated to reviews and news of music for film, TV and games

Tuesday, October 07, 2008


The Wrong Box
Music by John Barry
Harkit Records HRKCD 8300 (EU)
13 Tracks 29:06 mins

Following the label's recent release of John Barry's score for Boom!, Harkit records have now released his music for The Wrong Box, another hard to find score from the composer's 1960s repertoire.
I have never seen the 1966 adaptation of this black comedy, adapted from the novel by Robert Louis Stevenson and his stepson Lloyd Osbourne, and directed by Bryan Forbes, but having read the extensive notes, by Darren Allison of Cinema Retro Magazine, in the excellent booklet that accompanies this disc, I hope I get the opportunity soon. The film stars a young Michael Caine, playing a character totally removed from his triumphant role in Alfie, as well as distinguished thespians Ralph Richardson and John Mills. Notable support is given by Peter Cook, Dudley Moore, Nanette Newman, Tony Hancock and Peter Sellers, as well as a who's who of British supporting screen talent of the time, including Cicely Courtneidge, Wilfrid Lawson, Thorley Walters, Gerald Sim, Peter Graves, Irene Handl, Norman Bird, John Le Mesurier, Norman Rossington, John Junkin, Graham Stark and Leonard Rossiter.
John Barry of course enjoyed a close association with director Forbes, working on several of his films and for The Wrong Box he produced another one of his memorable and sumptuous themes, a charming waltz, first heard in "Main Title." The following "Montage of Deaths" flirts with the theme, before going through a variety of moods, both grim and comedic. The main theme drifts through "Yes, Who Is That?", followed by nefarious goings on in "Strangler," which starts sneakily but becomes an initially pompous, but then fatal march. "Responsible For Bringing Us Together" continues the martial feel, before turning sweet and again waltz-like; the theme continuing on in "God Save Us/Pedantic, Boring, Old," where it takes on a bolder quality, before the main theme takes over to end the track. Sneakiness returns for the brief "Morris Visits Dr. Pratt," followed by the largely mournful "Morris Hides As He Sees Handcart." The bouncy comedic theme introduced in "Montage of Deaths" reappears in "Tontine Box Is Put On Hearse." "A Bird In A Gilded Cage" sees Barry delightfully adapting the evergreen turn of the century song, written by Harry Von Tilzer. Again the bouncy theme returns in "Michael & Julia On Hearse," followed by the longest track on the album, "Hackett Funeral and Fight," which opens tensely before the bouncy theme takes over the action again. Despite the title of the track, the composer's main theme returns to close the album satisfyingly in "Bournemouth Strangler."
The aforementioned booklet notes deliver detailed accounts on every aspect of the production, as well as an extensive cast list, and profiles of both director Forbes and composer Barry, all lavishly illustrated.
It's great to finally have this wonderful John Barry score widely available at last, and Harkit deserve much praise for making it so. Order your copy from

From Costa Communications




"Flash of Genius”

Film released by Universal Pictures on October 3rd

Award-winning composer Aaron Zigman scores “Flash of Genius,” Marc Abraham’s (producer of “Children of Men” and “The Hurricane”) directorial debut chronicling the true story of a man’s battle against the U.S. auto industry. Greg Kinnear stars as Robert Kearns, the university professor who sues Detroit automakers after they fail to give him credit as inventor of the intermittent windshield wiper. Lauren Graham (“Gilmore Girls”) and Alan Alda (“The Aviator”) co-star as Kearns’ wife and lawyer. Zigman recorded parts of the score in London with members of the London Symphony Orchestra and recorded an additional chamber piece with Los Angeles Symphony Orchestra. The soundtrack is available on Varese Sarabande.

For his breathtaking score to “Flash of Genius,” Zigman relies heavily on string instruments to convey the urgency Kearns feels as his obsession with his case grows. The combination of Zigman’s melodic piano and flute themes with soulful blues-based tracks complements the emotional ups and downs throughout the film.

Zigman has built a solid musical reputation as a leading songwriter, producer, arranger and musician. Zigman has successfully traversed from pop to classical to film music. His credits include producing and arranging for music icons including Natalie Cole, Tina Turner, Seal, John Legend and Christina Aguilera, and numerous symphonic pieces including a tribute to former Israeli Prime Minister Itzhak Rabin. With “Flash of Genius,” Zigman adds yet another genre to an already diverse range of credits, including memorable scores from the romantic film “The Notebook” and urban edginess in “Alpha Dog.” Zigman’s talent and diversity has moved him to the top rank of film composers in a few years.

Most recently, Zigman scored “Sex and the City: The Movie.” His scores last year included “Bridge to Terabithia,” “Martian Child,” “Why Did I Get Married?,” “The Jane Austen Book Club,” “Pride” and “Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium.” Aaron Zigman has received accolades for his work including an Emmy and Film Music Awards.

From Top Dollar PR



Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: ERTS), have announced the intensely atmospheric orchestral score for EA’s new sci-fi survival horror game Dead Space™. Developed with award-winning composer Jason Graves, in association with Rod Abernethy and under the direction of EA Redwood Shores studio; Jason’s chilling score for Dead Space enhances the horror and tension of the game through extreme aleatoric and extended 20th Century orchestral music techniques.

“Graves’ work on the Dead Space score is simply fantastic. The music is a key factor in the overall tense mood of our game,” says Don Veca, Audio Director of Dead Space. “We needed an original orchestral score for Dead Space -- Aleatoric in style, dark and dissonant, ranging from subtle creepy/eerie moods to completely cacophonous frenzies.”

Dead Space is a bold and bloody sci-fi survival horror game that is designed to deliver the ultimate in psychological thrills and gruesome action. In Dead Space, players step into the role of engineer Isaac Clarke, an ordinary man on a seemingly routine mission to fix the communications systems aboard a deep space mining ship called the USG Ishimura. Set approximately 500 years in the future, Isaac discovers that the crew of the mining spaceship is found horribly slaughtered and transformed into terrifying monsters. Now Isaac is cut off, trapped, and engaged in a desperate fight for survival.

The official soundtrack for Dead Space will be available on for purchase to coincide with the release of Dead Space on October 14, 2008. The score features over three hours of music recorded during two different recording sessions. In the first session Graves conducted sixty musicians of the acclaimed Northwest Sinfonia Orchestra at the Bastyr Chapel in Seattle, and a year later Graves conducted sixty players of the Skywalker Symphony Orchestra and twenty voice choir at the world famous Skywalker Sound Scoring Stage. During both sessions, co-produced by Jason Graves and Rod Abernethy, the orchestra was recorded individually by section (woodwinds, brass, percussion and strings) with multiple dynamic levels and variations to be implemented as adaptive layers of music in the game. EA’s audio team designed the music system to be multi-layered so the music could be mixed at run-time based on gameplay and situation.

“The unique interactive aspect of the Dead Space music gave me the opportunity to experiment and try things I've never been able to do in a video game score before,” said Dead Space composer Jason Graves. “Many thanks to Don Veca and the rest of the team at EA for allowing me such freedom with the score; it was both the most challenging and most rewarding music I've ever composed."

Dead Space will ship on October 14, 2008 for the Xbox 360® videogame and entertainment system and PLAYSTATION®3 computer entertainment system. The PC version will ship on October 20, 2008. For more information on the game, visit the official web site at

About Jason Graves

Renowned for his cinematic and prolific orchestral music on action/adventure video game titles such as Blacksite: Area 51, the Blazing Angels franchise and the Star Trek franchise, Jason also creates award-winning music for film and television. Jason studied under film composers Jerry Goldsmith, Elmer Bernstein, Christopher Young and orchestrator Will Schaefer while earning a degree from the University of Southern California's prestigious film scoring program. He has scored more than 150 commercials, 90 television shows, movie trailers, and feature films, conducting orchestras at Capitol Records, Paramount Pictures, Skywalker Sound, Seattle and Salt Lake City. His music has been awarded three Telly's, an Addy, nine Silver Reels, a Gold Case Award, and a Cable A.C.E. Award. Jason also won 2nd Prize in Turner Classic Movies’ 2005 Young Film Composer Competition, of which there were more than 500 entries. His video game awards include two G.A.N.G. "Best Original Theme" nominations for Star Trek: Legacy and Blazing Angels 2, G.A.N.G. "Music of the Year" nomination for King Arthur and winner of G.A.N.G. "Soundtrack of the Year" award for The Hobbit. For more information visit

About Rod Abernethy

Rod is known worldwide for his cutting-edge approach to composition, placing him at the top of the interactive composer A-list. He has created award winning scores for over 50 video games including Blacksite: Area 51, Star Trek: Legacy, Blazing Angels I & II, Transformers, Dead Head Fred, Silent Hunter 4 and The Hobbit that won G.A.N.G.’s Best Soundtrack of the Year Award in 2003. His video game work includes collaboration with Harry Gregson-Williams on Flushed Away and veteran film composer Elmer Bernstein on the Wild Wild West: The Steel Assassin. An extremely versatile music-business veteran, Rod has composed for Midway, Vivendi/Universal, Sony, Ubisoft, Bethesda/Paramount, Disney/THQ, Electronic Arts, Activision, Konami, Majesco, Namco and Nintendo, has recorded in major studios around the world for record industry giants Warner Bros., Elektra, Atlantic, and MCA Records and collaborated with legendary producers Paul Rothchild (The Doors, Bonnie Raitt), John Anthony (Roxy Music, Queen) and David Lord (Peter Gabriel, Tori Amos, Tears for Fears, The Pretenders). For more information visit

About Electronic Arts

Electronic Arts Inc. (EA), headquartered in Redwood City, California, is the world's leading interactive entertainment software company. Founded in 1982, the Company develops, publishes, and distributes interactive software worldwide for video game systems, personal computers, cellular handsets and the Internet. Electronic Arts markets its products under four brand names: EA SPORTSTM, EATM, EA SPORTS Freestyle TM and POGOTM. In fiscal 2008, EA posted GAAP net revenue of $3.67 billion and had 27 titles that sold more than one million copies. EA's homepage and online game site is More information about EA's products and full text of press releases can be found on the Internet at

EA, EA SPORTS, EA SPORTS FREESTYLE, POGO and Dead Space are trademarks or registered trademarks of Electronic Arts Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries. Microsoft, Xbox and Xbox 360 are trademarks of the Microsoft group of companies. “PLAYSTATION” and “PlayStation” are registered trademarks of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.


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